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Mandarin Duck Black Hunter 3pc T/D Longbow


Rob DiStefano:
I figure it's time I did a write up on these bows, seeing as I've now had no less than 4 of them (what??)

I've been in this trad archery game since 1953, when Dad made me a lemonwood self longbow and a half dozen POC arrows. I looked back at my records the other day and realized I've owned and used at least 128 bows since back in the 50s.  I think I've had a purty good smattering of both commercial stock bows and lots 'n' LOTS of custom bows.  They were all good for me, as most bows are gonna be better at consistent accuracy than the person pulling string and releasing feathers.  Some were stellar, such as the 60s Hoyt and Bear recurves I used for competition, as well as the long list of Mohawk longbows I've had for both roving fun and hog/deer hunting.

I'd seen lotsa reviews of the China built Mandarin Duck Black Hunter longbow, and all were pretty much gushing about how great they are.  Hmm.  The intriguing part for me was the use of bamboo for the limb cores, as that's my favorite limb core material = grass (yup, bamboo is in the horticultural category of "grass").  Now the clincher was the cost - $150 for the bow and $15 to ship from China (though these dayze they also have shipping direct from the mainland USA).  Anyhoo, I took the gamble and plunked down my credit card dollars and in 7 days the bow arrived to me direct from Asia.  Go figure. 

The bow box was sturdy and even completely shrink wrapped in plastic film, and in perfect condition.  Well now, that's a plus.  Never know with shippers these dayze and I've had shipments of like-sized goods arrive at me in horrible shape, from all shipping vendors, within the US of A.  Okay, so maybe the good shipping was a lucky thing with regard to the bow.

Taking out the well wrapped riser and limbs, the quality of build was self evident.  As good as it gets.  Flawless wood laminated riser and black glass over 'boo limbs, flawless finish.  The limbs bolted on easy peasy, making for a 60" NTN longbow.  The supplied string is a 16 strand endless and it appears to be Dacron.  I ordered this bow as 45@28 and my Eason digital bow scale measured it as 45.3@28, good enuf.  I found the stock string a tad too short and spun up a new 14 strand string using B55 Dacron.  I think the bow limb tips are beefed up enuf for FF rated HMPE strings, but these dayze I prefer B55.

A swatch of sticky back hair hide is included to cut and place for both the arrow shelf and plate.  I used my own super thin leather attached with 3M outdoor tape.

Now to get down to the meat of all this - shooting.  I used a gaggle of arrows from carbons to woodies, fletched with feathers in small 4-fletch to large 3-fletch, all full helical.  The 'boo cored limbs are oh so Smooth on the draw, as expected.  Not a fan of pistol grip longbow handles, but this one made my hand feel right at home.  There's no question it could have been the bow liked me or I liked the bow, but dang, this puppy could shoot and hit pretty much what I was spotting for at 10 to 20 yards.  I use the typical Mediterranean string grip along with instinctive aiming.  The bow just feels *good* to me.  Know what I mean?  Since that first BH longbow I've had three more, and have either given away or sold off two of them, for no good reason other than I really only need one bow, but good bows to me are like good 'tater chips or pretzels, know what I mean?  :saywhat:  ;)  :laugh:

Later this year I bought the Mandarin Duck "Devourer" 2pc T/D longbow, which is priced at $400 a pop plus shipping.  Liked that a bunch and bought another, but just sold off the spare.  This is also a really great bow, but for my money, the value deal for any stock good commercial longbow is the MDBH in either longbow or recurve configuration.  Check out all the YouTube reviews.

This 60' 3pc T/D longbow is offered from 30-60@28 and the limbs will accommodate draw lengths out to 31".

So for me, it's two thumbs up :thumbsup: :thumbsup: for the Black Hunter Longbow.  It's well built and finished, and appears to be pretty durable.  It's not a sexy killer custom bow (and I do love those!), nowhere near, but it has its own kinda plain Jane charm.  If yer a newbie, or even a many decades seasoned vet to trad archery, I doubt this longbow will disappoint ... certainly not yer piggy bank!  A good bow to get the kids or wife into pulling string, or to keep around as a spare for guests.

Okay, yeah, it's built in China.  I get that, too.  It is what it is.


Just got one myself, great bow for the price

Thank you for taking the time to review this bow … I was looking at this for my next bow!
I have the mandarin ILF and is great once you silence the limbs.
Kinda noisy.

Rob DiStefano:

--- Quote from: Idaho_Drifter on June 13, 2022, 07:31:17 AM ---Thank you for taking the time to review this bow … I was looking at this for my next bow!
I have the mandarin ILF and is great once you silence the limbs.
Kinda noisy.

--- End quote ---

Recurves are always gonna have some element of noise due to the string slap on the curved tips.  Not at all happening with any style of longbow.  :thumbsup:


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